Both sides have their favorite disaster scenarios for the upcoming election. Let me add a new one. It’s far-fetched, I know, but in this unusual day and age, who knows….
In a close election, American expatriates—citizens living abroad—could conceivably make the difference. There are more of them than you might think, particularly in Canada but around the globe.
Here are excerpts from an article in Toronto’s DH News that explains the situation:
New data suggests that Toronto has one of the world’s largest populations of American citizens living outside of the United States, according to a report recently released by the US government.
The report by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) estimates that Canada’s largest city is home to 78,371 eligible US voters….
Three other Canadian cities made the top 10 list of international cities: Vancouver tops the global list with 183,155, Montreal is fifth with 44,597, and Quebec City is seventh with 37,002.
Overall, 660,935 eligible US voters live in Canada, the most of any country besides the states, accounting for a quarter of the 2.56 million overseas Americans that are eligible to vote.
But Very Few Expats Actually Vote in U.S. Elections
However, actual voting rates in the 10 largest international hubs for eligible US voters are far lower than the rates that can be expected.
Toronto’s voting rate in 2014 was just 5%, a tiny fraction of the 58% that was expected. The voting rate in Vancouver was lower at 2%, sharply contrasting with the expected rate of 54%.
With a recorded voting rate of 11%, London had the highest actual voting rate of the 10 cities.
“Overseas citizens are in a different news environment in which news is less likely to be focused on the United States and there is less election-related advertising aimed at them,” the report continues….
With that said, a higher turnout can be expected for this year’s election given the record level of international interest in the candidates.
10 cities outside of the United States with the largest population of American overseas citizens
- Vancouver, Canada: 183,155
- Tel Aviv, Israel: 102,442
- Toronto, Canada: 78,371
- London, United Kingdom: 61,490
- Montreal, Canada: 44,597
- San Jose, Costa Rica: 44,191
- Quebec City, Canada: 37,002
- Tokyo, Japan: 34,302
- Hong Kong, China: 34,042
- Melbourne, Australia: 27,709
Global distribution of voting-age Americans
- Canada: 660,935
- United Kingdom: 306,600
- France: 156,899
- Israel: 133,850
- Japan: 110,933
- Australia: 103,395
- Germany: 89,528
- Costa Rica: 79,469
- Switzerland: 68,322
- Mexico: 64,852
- South Korea: 54,546